Edo State Commissioner for Justice, Prof.Yinka Omoregbe, is also the Chairman of the state Task Force Against Human Trafficking. Omoregbe speaks on how the returnees are faring.
How are you coping with the increasing number of returnees from Libya?
Everything is going on well. We are ensuring that the programme progresses so that, at the end of the day, the returnees are successfully reintegrated into the society. We thank God for the governor who has the vision to ensure that these people get help. It is part of life, every time the plane lands in Lagos, we know that majority of them are our indigenes, we bring them back home and take care of them. We have received about 1,500 returnees so far.
Some of them came back exhausted and we have doctors who attend to them. And whoever needs special care, we refer him to special hospitals. Many of them are going home and those who don’t have anywhere to go, we are rehabilitating them. And the children are also being taken care of.
What measures are you putting in place to check these traffickers who are indigenes of Edo?
This goes with a lot of sensitization to ensure that people are no longer hoodwinked by traffickers and, at the same time, we are working and investigating and successfully prosecuting traffickers. The idea is to wipe out trafficking in Edo and halt illegal migration. We are proud when our people go abroad responsibly but we do not want them going abroad and suffering and passing through the hardship they went through. Right now we have a law before the state House of Assembly against trafficking and we hope they pass it very soon.
We are receiving returnees of other states resident in Edo. We do not discriminate.
Did the CNN report come as a shock to you?
What we watched on CNN is a terrible situation and it is unfortunate that people have been put into such position. But what is really bad is the involvement of some Nigerians in that slave trade, that is the worst aspect. But we are collaborating with different international agencies to get the job done. We have different training programmes for them. I believe from January we will roll out the training programmes for them.